The court of inquisition (its name is translated as "test") has been founded by the decree of Ferdinand and Isabella for strengthening Catholic belief in the captured country. Moslems and Jews who lived on these grounds, after a christening secretly kept the belief also planned mutinies. The Great Inquisitor was the head of the court. The most well-known inquisitor was a christened Jew Tomas Torquemada. Possibly he became the prototype of a bright image of the Great Inquisitor in "Karamazov Brothers" by Dostoevsky.
Toledo, Madrid, Seville were the basic centers of the Spanish inquisition. This religious organization has brought Spain "black" glory. Fires on which burnt heretics, tortures, - all this till now is considered gloomy suits of judges a symbol of the fanatical Spanish Middle Ages.
However figures speak about something opposite. During the whole time of existence of inquisition in Spain there were executed 5 thousand person. In compare: in England - 30 thousand person, in Germany - 100 thousand. Almost 90% prebecome before the tribunal were sentenced to participation in construction of churches, pilgrimage, carrying of crosses, charity, a public repentance. Only as a last resort guilty it was sentenced to imprisonment. 3 % got on a fire.
Toledo is the frequent "hero" of the Spanish literature. Lope de Vega gave Toledo a name "a crown of Castile". More than 20 thousand Jews lived in Toledo. The name of the city occurs from the Jewish word "toledot" - "a number of generations".
Picturesque narrow streets from time to time turning a stone ladder, will necessarily lead you to any new discovery, whether it is the ancient Cathedral or a fine view on a valley which is spread below.
Iglesia de Santo Tome and the house-museum are in the Jewish district (Juderia). The architecture of the temple does not represent big interest. The separate entrance conducts in a chapel where ashes of Ruis de Toledo - the seigneur of the Orgas city who died in 1323. 250 years later El Greco wrote on request of priests of this church the well-known picture. Many critics consider it as the best product of the great artist.
Toledo is famous not only because of its brilliant history and architecture, but also art treasures. The main riches - paintings by El Greco. The most well-known masterpiece is "The burial of Column Orgas". The master embodied at the painting also himself with the son. It is kept in Iglesia de Santo Tome. Many works are collected in the museum Santa Cruz (the Sacred Cross), in Monasterio de Santo Domingo El Antigua. There are canvases in the house-museum of the artist - Casa Museo de El Greco.
The history of Toledo is closely bound with the history of Spain. The city was one of the important spiritual and political centers of the country and one of the first city stirred to action against Muslim oppression. In spite of the fact that king Phillip II carried the capital to Madrid, there are a lot of magnificent monuments and a special timeless atmosphere of city from famous history of Toledo.
I spotted this doorway in one of the narrow streets - don't ask me where, I know it was somewhere just north of the Cathedral, but we were lost at the time ! There are lots of fine doors in the side streets, all probably hundreds of years old.
Keep your eyes open, and look around you, not forgetting to look up at the buildings. These balconies are in one of the main shopping streets, I believe it was Calle del Hombre de Palo, close to the Cathedral
One of the joys of Toledo is wandering through the narrow streets of the old Jewish quarter, following the twists and turns and hopefully not getting thoroughly lost !
This is Calle de San Juan de Dios, where you can find Casa del Greco.
Just before we came back to Madrid this view was presented to us by the interesting ancient Toledo town. It's taken from the area near the big underground parking place while we were waiting for the car.
When I saw it I exclaimed: "Now I believe, Don Quixote really travelled here!" It's so easy to imagine Cervantes' heroes included in this landscape!
While walking around Toledo we were lucky to discover the great view point. We found it rather unexpectedly while taking a narrow street consisted from stairs. A couple of turns and we are here: a small ground with the swing on it!
While swinging I felt like flying above the ancient roofs of Toledo. Indescribable feeling!
I suppose, the thing is to find the place suddenly, so, I won't give more tips about the place location. Moreover, I'm not sure if I found the place again by myself the next time I'd come to Toledo... :)
Look for some stairs... If you walk down you will get to the riverside, and will able to have a whole new and also great perspective...
De ese lado del Tajo, busca unas escaleras, si las bajas te encontraras justo en la orilla del rio, lo cual te dara una nueva y muy hermosa perspectiva....
There are SO MANY beautifull views from Toledo, in every single angle... In every single part... But to see the "panoramic view" of the river Tajo, it's just amazing... In the rocks in front, the birds rest, but with a single noice, you will watch hundreds of them flying and then, returning again to their place at the stones...
Hay tantas vistas bellas en Toledo, en cada sentido, en cada parte. Pero ver la "panoramica" del rio Tajo es increible... En las rocas de enfrente, descansan cientos de pajaros, que al mas leve sonido levantan el vuelo y luego vuelven a su lugar en las rocas.
In Toledo you just have to get lost... It´s a small city, so you cant get SO lost that you will never know where you are... But if you just walk around you will see so many beautyfull buildings, parks, churches that you will fall in love with this amazing place...